If you are considering the adoption of a special needs child, I would encourage you to consider adopting a child with Hepatitis B. Children with HBV are available for adoption around the globe. Remember that one third of the world’s population has been infected with HBV. The transmission of HBV from mother to child during delivery process is very common in many parts of the world. HBV can be prevented in 95% of cases for those that are vaccinated and receive HBIG within 12 hours of birth, with the other two shots of the series to follow, but unfortunately these options are not available to many infants around the globe. Because HBV is a silent infection, many moms are not even aware they have HBV, and few are screened and identified during pregnancy.
Adopting a child with HBV is very manageable. However, it is good to get educated before you move forward. Kids with HBV may require treatment when they return home, although most do not. This will not be determined until your child arrives home and has a thorough work-up with a liver specialist. Please don’t ask for additional testing of your child, as the additional needle sticks raise their risks for infectious disease.
Most children do not have symptoms with their HBV. They appear perfectly healthy, and they are healthy with the exception of having the HBV virus circulating in them. They sleep, eat and cry, just like any other baby, and they run, play, captivate and steal the hearts of their parents just like any other child.